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Clean-up program during the Victorian floods

Information on the 2022 Victorian floods cleanup program that includes free structural assessments for affected properties and businesses and the removal of street debris.

The state-coordinated flood clean-up program includes:

  • free all-hazard structural assessments for affected residential properties and small businesses (commercial light) and make-safe works for structures on uninsured properties where make-safe works are recommended
  • supporting local councils to collect flood debris and waste from kerbsides (nature strips)

The program is available to all local councils on the list of natural disaster declarations.

Structural assessment

Home-owners, small business owners (light commercial) and not-for profit property owners can register for an all-hazard structural assessment if eligible properties with structures have been damaged or destroyed by the floods.

Your property must be a residential property property (including a residential structure on a farm) or a commercial property of a small business. This includes caravans used for residential or small business purpose.

Register online now

Street debris removal

Local councils are responsible for the collection of flood debris and waste. You can contact your local council to find out about kerbside collection in your area.

Local councils can register for assistance from ERV through the Street Debris Removal program by calling 1800 560 760 or emailing cleanup@erv.vic.gov.au.

Eligible waste and debris will be picked up by licenced contractors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)External Link and WorkSafeExternal Link will oversee all waste disposal.

What will be removed?

If your council has registered for assistance, waste and debris that will be removed includes:

  • carpets, whitegoods, damaged fixtures and furniture and other household goods
  • cooking equipment and business-related materials and goods
  • liquids and rubbish material (bagged, boxed or contained)
  • food and organic waste (contained)

Waste and debris that will not be removed includes:

  • animal carcasses
  • cars, boats, caravans and rainwater tanks over 2,000 litres
  • known hazardous materials and carcinogens

What you need to do

You will need to:

  • clear out your house or property
  • separate eligible items
  • leave them on your kerbsides (nature strips) ready for collection

Contractors and local councils will not enter houses to collect debris and waste.

In the highest impacted communities, ERV is working with Disaster Relief Australia to coordinate volunteers to help “muck-out” homes inundated with water.

Requests for assistance can be made through the Flood Response Hotline on 1800 560 760, or if you live in an area with minor flooding and need help, you call your local council.

Sandbags

By blocking the water flow, sandbags including both the bag and the sand can become contaminated with sewage, pathogens and chemicals from the floodwater.

Please call your council to find out about sandbag collection within your area.

For more information on sandbags, visit the EPA websiteExternal Link

Structural assessment for affected properties and businesses

Home-owners, small business owners (light commercial) and not-for profit property owners can register for an all-hazard structural assessment if eligible properties with structures have been damaged or destroyed by the floods.

An all-hazards structural assessment is an assessment undertaken by qualified contractors to understand the state of the structure, whether it is repairable or requires removal. This assessment can be used to identify any hazards such as asbestos, giving guidance as to how the structure needs to be managed.

Contractors will be wearing Emergency Recovery Victoria or Johns Lyng Group branded attire and the property owner can ask for photo ID.

Eligibility

You must be in a declared and eligible LGA.

Your property must be a residential property property (including a residential structure on a farm) or a commercial property of a small business. This includes caravans used for residential or small business purpose.

You must have damaged structures on your property.

People renting a property or caravan as a private residence can also register.

Structures will be assessed at no cost if the structure meets two of the three criteria:

  • a building or object constructed from several parts
  • a building or object that rests on deliberately placed foundations
  • a building or object that is connected to 2 or more essential systems (e.g. mains water, electricity or solar including batteries, sewage or gas)

Register

Register online using the Structural Assessment form or via the Flood Recovery Hotline at 1800 560 760

Once you have registered, ERV will contact you and process your registration and then book an assessment time.

The assessment process

Johns Lyng Group (JLG) are the appointed clean-up contractors. They will conduct the assessment, and provide a report to the structure’s owner, and to their local council. Where the assessment determines that demolition is required, regardless of whether the structure is insured, this can be coordinated with JLG. Where make-safe works are required and the structure is not insured, this can also be coordinated through the Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV) structural make-safe program.

Through the structural assessment program, the property owner receives an assessment report. Owners can then choose to opt-in for any further actions, such free demolition or make-safe works where eligible, but are not required to do so.

If your house is deemed repairable

Flood-affected structures that are uninsured and deemed repairable through the structural assessment are eligible for the Structural Make-Safe Program which will remove safety hazards (such as electrical dangers and asbestos) from uninsured flood- eligible structures.

The structural make-safe program supports hazard removal. It is not a general clean up, mucking out or removal of non-hazardous waste. Owners of insured properties should contact their insurer.

Structural make-safe works include removal of any immediate:

  • hazard or risk preventing the structure from being safely occupied
  • occupational, health and safety hazards or risks that may impinge on residents, workers, neighbours, or the environmental requirements of structural repair

Structural make-safe works do not include:

  • removal of non-hazardous waste
  • works or costs that are covered through other programs or funding sources, such as insurance
  • legal costs

Hazards at flood damaged properties present immediate risks to the health and safety of homeowners and residents, emergency services agencies, volunteer groups and clean-up providers who may inadvertently expose themselves to unidentified hazards.

The structural make-safe program will ensure that hazards in uninsured structures are removed and will also reduce the likelihood of hazardous materials being dumped illegally or moving unsafely into the waste system.

Safety in cleaning out structures

Before returning to your property or cleaning out any structures consider hazards that may be present such as asbestos, an extremely hazardous material often present in building materials. ERV strongly encourages anybody affected by the current flooding event to register for an all-hazard structural assessment before commencing with the cleaning out of structures.

Local trades

Local trades can register to be involved via the Johns Lyng Group (JLG)External Link .

JLG is the lead contractor for the clean-up program in partnership with local councils. They coordinate the approach, supporting local trades and sub-contractors to complete work within the affected area. JLG was selected from the State Clean-up Panel.

They are required to take a local-first approach. For this program the workforce will be made up of more than 70% local trades.

ERV is also establishing trade hubs within affect regions to ensure local trades can continue to operate and support local economies.

Downloadable fact sheets

Clean up program

Structural assessment

Reviewed 18 January 2023

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